It's all about the written word...

Celebrating three years in publication. Thank you for visiting often!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Come fly with me... BaselWorld, the famed watch and jewelry show held annually in Basel, Switzerland, where Italian pen brand Montegrappa exhibited. Many of the company’s latest products, including pens and watches, were on display. The latest limited edition Frank Sinatra is perfectly timed, since a few years ago Congress designated May 13 as Frank Sinatra Day. The collection comprises 1,915 fountain pens and 1,915 rollerball pens, each in resin with silver trim, to honor the year Frank Sinatra was born (1915); 12 fountain pens and 12 rollerball pens in resin with 18-karat gold trim to denote Sinatra’s birthday on December 12; and five rollerball pens and 13 fountain pens, each with 18-karat gold trim and an overlaid barrel, to recognize the date of Frank Sinatra Day.

Monday, April 25, 2011

An idea lives on

The new limited edition John F. Kennedy collection from Krone is a tribute the the thirty-fifth president of the US. The cap features a portrait of Kennedy, hand painted in an Impressionistic style using a patriotic palette of red, white and blue. The cap crown is adorned with 15 blue sapphires. A copy of the invitation to the inaugural ceremonies, held January 20, 1961, accompanies each pen.

Just 388 fountain pens and 388 rollerball pens are available. The fountain pen, priced at $4,800, has an 18-karat gold nib in fine and medium sizes; it is filled by cartridge or converter. The rollerball pen is priced at $4,700. Each is packaged in a commemorative box.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Steel yourself

The Edison Pen Company is now offering steel nibs (pictured) with the Edison logo as seen heretofore only on its 18-karat gold nibs. They are available in two versions: all steel or two-tone. Edison is known for its beautiful array of handmade and custom pens. Founded by Brian Gray, the company has grown to include nine distinct models, in addition to the Urushi pens, a collaborative effort with maki-e artist Ernest Shin. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Automobile Lamborghini by Omas

I am intrigued by the new limited edition Automobile Lamborghini by Omas. Inspired by the Aventador luxury car, the collection comprises 700 cartridge- or convertor-filled fountain pens and 700 rollerball pens, each crafted from orange or black cotton resin with ruthenium trim. The pens were just introduced at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, March 3 to 13. I think the shape of the pen, with its angles and curves, is fabulous. And I am a sucker for orange pens. I really like the car, too.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Certifiably Beautiful

The limited edition 1910 Certified Collection from Ermenegildo Zegna features a rosewood barrel and platinum-plated cap and trim. The coat of arms and the tactile pin stripe engraved on the cap represent Ermenegildo Zegna’s textile tradition. Five stars are engraved on the end of the barrel, as on the selvedge of Zegna fabrics, and the Ermenegildo Zegna coat of arms is inscribed on the platinum-plated 18-karat gold nib of the fountain pen ($1,200). A rollerball pen ($1,050) is also available. The pens, made by Omas, are available at Zegna boutiques.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Happy anniversary, Graf von Faber-Castell!

The new Elemento collection from Graf von Faber-Castell was created in honor of the company's 250th anniversary. It uses cross-grain cut olive wood inlaid on the barrel--six individual pieces, or "elements." The wood is lacquered and hand polished several times to achieve a gorgeous finish and to bring out the interesting grain of the wood; the cap and trim are in silver. Wood is also used on the end caps of the various modes: fountain pen (with 18-karat gold bi-color nib in fine, medium and broad sizes), rollerball, ballpoint and multi-purpose pen.  Each comes in a wood presentation case. The fountain pen is priced at $1,495; the rollerball, $995; and ballpoint, $895. The multi-purpose pen is available with the set of four pens, priced at $4,195. A set of two pens, fountain pen and ballpoint, is also available and priced at $2,295. Well done, and happy anniversary to you!

Monday, April 11, 2011

David at Dromgoole's

Dromgoole’s of Houston hosted a pen event on Thursday, March 31, to celebrate the introduction of David Oscarson’s latest collection, Lewis and Clark, a tribute to the two explorers, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Lewis and Clark’s signatures are represented in high relief surrounded by a background of gentle river currents underneath. Both collection pieces feature a map of the Louisiana Purchase marking the Lewis and Clark Trail from St. Louis, Missouri, all the way to Fort Clatsop, Oregon. The Meriwether Lewis cap features a telescope clip and a compass rose. The William Clark cap has a feathered clip, and a Peace Medal (given by Lewis and Clark to many of the Indian chiefs along the trail) is engraved on the barrel. The Lewis and Clark collection features guilloche engraving and hard enamel, and it is available in two design variations, each limited to 100 pieces. The fountain pen is priced at $4,900 and the rollerball, $4,700. Meriwether Lewis is in translucent ruby red with gold vermeil, and William Clark is in translucent sapphire blue hard enamel.

The turnout at Dromgoole's was great, with many pen collectors and aficionados in attendance. Dr. David Pustilnik, Dromgoole's own nib adjuster, was there doing a brisk business. And Larry Dromgoole, the quintessential host and owner of the store, made sure that everyone had a great time. I certainly did.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I love this pen...

    One of the hallmarks of success, I believe, is a company’s capacity to surprise—its customers, consumers, and sometimes even itself. And that’s just what Caran d’Ache has done with the introduction of its new high-tech, Swiss-made RNX.316, just released. A huge step from its highly decorated limited editions and beautifully crafted pillar lines, the RNX.316 is not only specialized in its appearance, but also in the material used to make it: 316L stainless steel, known for its strength and imperviousness to heat and cold. And the name RNX, while sounding acronymous and state-of-the-art, is actually a nod to the company’s rich heritage, which began in Switzerland in the early part of the twentieth century. It is a riff on the words “round and hexagonal,” two shapes that have done the company proud. This collection is no exception, since it incorporates both iconic silhouettes in its design.
    The RNX.316 comes in two versions: PVD (physical vapor deposition) Black and Steel. Having recently seen both versions in Switzerland, where they were introduced in January, I must say that it’s hard to pick a favorite. The black, which is laser engraved, has a futuristic stealth appeal, while the plain steel pen is simply a great looking instrument that relies on interesting chiselling and polishing effects to woo its user. Its guilloche is created using a special engraving process wherein a spiral effect is created on different planes. It’s all about the juxtaposition of profiles.
    The fountain pen (there’s a rollerball, ballpoint and mechanical pencil, too) has a steel PVD-treated nib available in fine, medium and broad sizes--wonderfully smooth, I might add. Another interesting note is the innovative cartridge changing mechanism for the fountain pen and capped rollerball: the system for changing the cartridge also activates the opening of the writing block. By unscrewing the lower part of the body, a counter-screw mechanism advances the writing block and enables the cartridge to be easily changed. A guide piece ensures that the two elements are perfectly aligned and allows the writing instrument to be closed with a single click. The ballpoint has a pushbutton mechanism and is fit with the Caran d'Ache’s Goliath giant cartridge in fine, medium and broad sizes. The mechanical pencil has a pushbutton mechanism with a replaceable eraser under the button. It uses 0.7 mm lead.  The RNX.316 ranges in price from $198 to $390.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Blending Traditions

      Two leaders in social communication announce a partnership that blends traditional artistry with twenty-first century technology. Bernard Maisner Studio and Paperless Post are releasing an exclusive line of hand-painted and hand-lettered designs created by Bernard Maisner specifically for online usage. In addition to brand new designs, many of Maisner’s famous paper images, along with his inimitable and elaborately flourished calligraphy, have been adapted to an online format. From hand-painted cocktail party invitations to engraved note cards and hand-lettered greetings, the pieces are offered for a variety of occasions. 
Mainser's retail line, which is sold at Bergdorf Goodman, Gumps and Neiman Marcus, and his custom invitation work, are among the most sought-after stationery in the world. He can produce only a limited amount each year, since all the calligraphy and design is done by his own hand. Outside of his collaboration with Paperless Post, all of Maisner’s retail and custom designs are engraved on 100% cotton paper. By contrast, Paperless Post invitations and cards are designed and delivered online. The company was founded by brother and sister, James and Alexa Hirschfeld.